Group convenors: Gail and Ray Norval
The Michaela Crescent Park Group works on the north side of Fish Creek in Michaela Crescent and meets on Thursday mornings for working bees.
Since 1998 Pete Dorney’s group has brought this part of Fish Creek back to health. The creek features a sandy bottom, rocks, and Lomandra hystrix on the water’s edge.
Lomandras act as a water filter to clean the creeks during revegetation. They are useful next to the creek (lomandra hystrix) and further up the bank (Lomandra longifolia). Longifolia have a toothed end, and single flower stalks. Hystrix has a dagger-point end with branched flower stalks.
The restoration of Fish Creek along the length of Michaela Crescent has been going since 1998, first led by Pete Dorney and then in more recent years by Gail and Ray Norval. Pete’s backyard in Bromwich Street overlooked a steep rocky section of Fish Creek which he worked to restore from 1998 until he moved in 2006. During that time there were regular, once-a-week, morning working bees attended by Pete’s partner Mareene Hutchings, his son Mark Dorney with partner Tricia Head, plus several other volunteers from time to time.
The first working bee was literally in Pete’s backyard as they couldn’t get near the back fence for weeds. There was also help from Men of the Trees plus volunteers from the Greening Australia Nursery which Pete was managing at the time.
From around 2004, Gail and Ray Norval joined the group taking over the leadership when Pete left in 2006. Since then the focus shifted more to the northern side of the creek. Gail attributes her interest in bushcare to her parents who were both keen gardeners. Her father was a greenkeeper and later a gardener at the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens.
Like many bushcare sites in The Gap, the Michaela Crescent Park site was severely damaged in The Gap storm in 2008. In the ten years since, Gail and Ray have worked to replant damaged sections. In 2019, there was little sign of the storm damage with healthy plantings lining the creek bank from its boundary with Hilder Road State School to the new Tallowwood development in the east.
The site has benefited from support from the Habitat Brisbane program which engaged contractors to remove a stand of bamboo and replant that area in 2012.